Bring Back 'Sane' GOP of Bush 41

Friedman misses the balanced conservatism of yore
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2011 7:23 AM CDT
Thomas Friedman: Bring Back 'Sane' GOP of George HW Bush
Former President George H.W. Bush watches a Houston Astros baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, in Houston.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

With today's Republican Party being led around by Tea Party extremists, Thomas Friedman misses the adult supervision of George HW Bush, he writes in the New York Times. Calling him "one of our most underrated presidents," Friedman contends that Bush père brought foreign policy "deftness" and, more importantly, respect for science, pioneering cap-and-trade to bring down acid rain emissions. "I find it hard to look at today’s GOP without thinking how far it has drifted from the kind of balanced conservatism the elder Bush brought to politics," he writes.

"Where have all the adults in this party gone?" he asks, "Michele Bachmann, Grover Norquist, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin? Are these really the pacesetters of modern conservatism?" A "sane" conservative party is vital because Democrats and Republicans need to strike a deal for the long-term health of the United States, otherwise the markets will impose a much less pleasant solution. And so far, the conservative revolution has failed. "It is time for a counterrevolution in the GOP," Friedman concludes. (More Thomas Friedman stories.)

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